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Author Topic: Religion
shimmers n' such
Neophyte
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Hello all

Well, after a long, hard voyage of self discovery, i've decided religious conversion is right for me. I am, well, I guess "technically" Catholic, however, I prefer to think of myself as a soon-to-be jew. The religion, the culture, it all seems so right to me, my soul is nurtured and I feel complete immersing myself in everything Jewish. I've spoken to a Rabbi, been told to look at books about conversion and the religion in general, i've even gone to Synagogue to get the full experience (which was utterly AMAZING, it brought tears to my eyes just being there. I was spiritually home.) So, this being my second home , I thought it might be interesting to get some personal experiences with religious conversion of any kind. What did you have to go through? Did you feel welcomed? How did your family react? Any and all responses would be great!
Thank you ahead of time


Posts: 33 | From: Ice Castle, Canada | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
star1120
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ahhh... religious conversions... well, people don't always convert to another religion, like myself!

i was raised in a non-practicing catholic family. my immediate in house family that is. my grandma, aunts and uncles and cousins on my dad's side are all good, good catholics.

through out the past couple years i've thought, and discussed with friends, things about christianity and the Bible and such. and i've come with my own ideas about it, and if it has to fit into a category, i'll stick it in agnosticism, but i think i'm more of a borderline atheist. not quite all the way though.

with talking to my mom about it, i think she's come to realize that she agrees with me. my dad i haven't talked to so much about it. he does understand and agree when i point out something that i think is silly, but he's still mr. catholocism.

i've yet to break it to my grandma, tonite i lied to her and i felt horrible. she says "sam, did you thank God last night?" "yes Grandma, i did." "good...good."

i felt horrible. *smacks forehead*

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" Life move pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller


Posts: 183 | From: ohio, usa | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Celtic Daisy
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I spose i've sort of converted. I also grew up in a non-practicing roman-catholic(i believe) family. I went to church for one year when i was younger with friends, but that was the extent of it. When i was 13 i someone tripped upon some wiccan sites and became quite interested in it, and i suddenly realized, "i am wiccan!" It just came upon me. I've always been that kind of person, very in love with nature, and i had many of the same views.

I looked into actual practices for a while, but then i kinda just drifted out of it. Around this time last year, my hunger for some further spirituality was awakened and i began looking into it again, full force this time. I realized that i belonged here and it's what i feel most comfortable and at home with.

The next step after i knew what i wanted was to tell others. The first people to know were my friends, who i knew i wouldn't recieve any flak from. They seem fine with it, and religion isn't a big thing for any of us, so it's basically, they know i'm wiccan, that's that. The next step was my mom. I chose to just start leaving a couple of my books lying around and then i flat out told her. She was fine with it, but she doesn't really understand it. She basically knows i'm not a moron and won't do anything stupid. My dad on the other hand, prolly thinks it's just a phase.

I think it's fabulous that you've found the religion that's right for you, and you just have to go with what you feel is right, and what you feel is the best way to proceed.

Good luck!

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'You've got the eyes of ten women. Not in a jar! I wasn't accusing you. I just mean your eyes are really nice'-coupling

Erin Jane
~Scarleteen Advocate~


Posts: 1747 | From: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
shimmers n' such
Neophyte
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I've actually been lucky with regards to that area, well sort of I've only really told one member of my family. My mom is very supportive. She is also interested and has spent countless dollars on books and info on the Kaballah (sp?? Jewish mysticism), but anyone else i'm a bit leary of informing :S My grandmother is set in her older ways....very blunt and straightforward, and with her and 99.9% the rest of my family, I know they would assume i'm doing this for my Jewish boyfriend. He hasn't pressured me into anything, he's been truly spportive and I love him dearly for that. Hopefuly bringing it up with my family won't be too big of a hassle....*gathers all her nerve* There we go I can tell the whole world now!....except my family is at their respective homes......and it's 11:15pm, so I'm not calling them.....guess this courage will be stored for later


It feels so nice to feel...complete. I never put much thought into my religion, but Judaism just seems to make my life spiritually whole....my soul is happy and it's just a sense of....nurturing and love. Thank you for all your responses! They're really aiding me in getting a sense of what issues I might run into. Thank you Kepp 'em coming!

[This message has been edited by shimmers n' such (edited 03-31-2002).]


Posts: 33 | From: Ice Castle, Canada | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
just*this*girl
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Im not realigious. AT ALL. Sometimes it really really bothers me to have nothing to believe in. But I dont support many veiws of different churches.

Here is an interesting question...do you think people with no religion are bad in any way? I will take no effense.


Posts: 16 | From: Never Never Land | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Celtic Daisy
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Absolulty not.

Not everyone feels they need religion. I know my dad is an athiest and he's perfectly happy. I don't see how someone without a religion could be percieved as "bad". It's simply a lifestyle choice. I felt that i needed something in that part of my life, something to make me feel more spiritual, so i went on a search for what was right for me.

In my opinion, whether or not you choose to have a religion is irrelivant as to whether or not you're good or bad.

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'You've got the eyes of ten women. Not in a jar! I wasn't accusing you. I just mean your eyes are really nice'-coupling

Erin Jane
~Scarleteen Advocate~


Posts: 1747 | From: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
shimmers n' such
Neophyte
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It's definately a very personal choice. Having a religion or not does not make one person better than the other. It's simply a lifestyle choice followed by someone. No one even knows for sure if there is a heaven or hell, God or Allah, what have you. Having a religion might fill a void in one's life that is non-existant in someone else's life......it just makes things simpler for them. To each their own. Believe or not, pray or don't. If you're happy, that's all that matters.
Posts: 33 | From: Ice Castle, Canada | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
shimmers n' such
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I'm so excited! I got my courage back and told my friends about my conversion They were supportive and didn't judge at all!!!! ahh! *giggles excitedly* My teachers now know too, everything is going so well I feel accepted and spiritually complete, this is great!
hehehe, sorry, needed to vent I'm just so gosh darn happy!!!

Posts: 33 | From: Ice Castle, Canada | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Laura
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quote:
Originally posted by just*this*girl:
Im not realigious. AT ALL. Sometimes it really really bothers me to have nothing to believe in. But I dont support many veiws of different churches.

Here is an interesting question...do you think people with no religion are bad in any way? I will take no effense.


Of course not. What you believe is totally up to you. It's how you act, and whether you're you're happy, that counts.

But if it makes you sad that you don't have something to believe in, and you can't find an existing religion that you agree with, why not make up your own? Start with the beliefs you *do* like from the churches you know about, add some ideas of your own, and go from there. There are a lot of really good books out there about different people's personal religious beliefs, and religious discoveries. Makes for inspiring reading.

Hey, shimmers n'such, congratulations on your conversion. That's really cool. I'm happy for you.


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charming_girl
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I don't religion is absolutely necessary to be happy. It all depends on what your view on religion is. I personally don't really believe in anything but I am looking around at the various religions and trying to see what I feel like. It's that not I really want a religion, but more that I am curious about.
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jewishpunk
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I love talking about religion. I'm Jewish myself. Converted last year. I read part of the hindu, buddhist and muslim bibles. I have friends that are atheist, wiccan, catholic, lutheran, Jahovahhs' witness, muslim and buddist. I think whatever you believe in is cool, and if you don't have a religion it's alright.
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frozendreams
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i think that i was christian when i was little. i dont know what happened bu now i am atheist. i guess it was just some events in my life that made me stop belivin in god. but i dont talk about religion much because tha is a very touchy subject and always causes a lotof conflict. so i will end my post now.
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Confused boy
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I'm surprised there are a few people here who have converted Judaism rather than just being born into it. Particularly since Judaism does not actively seek to convert people; guess it must be the cheesecake culture or something. It is even more surprising at a time when Judaism has manage to lose a lot of its pleasent pacifist sheen to it with Isreal looking rather too much like any other nationalist state.

Tell me, having converted to Judaism do you, Shimmers and Punk, feel at all caught up in the politics of the Middle East or do you regard it as an entirely seperate issue to personal faith?

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky


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Hotbuttered101
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I was born Jewish. I am not religous at all but I am more interested in Jewish culture
(and when I say 'culture', I mean 'food').
Being Jewish is a large part of me. I could not imaginine not being Jewish. I am extremely comfortable and happy with my religion. Even though I am not religious, I feel very connected to my religion.

I go to a non-religious Jewish school. I say 'non-religious' because people from reform to orthodox and anything in between attend the school. Non-Jews are also welcome. I suppose living my whole life with Jewish thought and culture has left me with a very strong connection to my religion even though I am not religious...If that makes any sense. I love being Jewish...As simple as that. At school we have 2 non-secular subjects, Hebrew and Jewish Thought.

Confused boy, even though your question wasn't directed at me, I must say that yes, what is going on in Israel definately affects me.


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shimmers n' such
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The issue in the Middle East......I don't even know where to begin with my feelings on this. I was recently in a Middle Eastern bakery, and there were signs everyhwere saying "Save Palestine!!!" "How many palestinian children will be tortured?" and the like.....it completely amazed me how rampant propaganda still is. I'm really having difficulty expressing my feelings on this, as I really am not trying to offend anyone, but I know it will come out as such. I apologize in advance. I try to separate people from their religion in a way. I know that not all palestinians are suicide bombers, and i'd never label them as such. It just infuriates me when a suicide bomber enters a public area, people minding their own business, and are subsequently killed, and THEN posters are put up here, claiming Israel tortures children and destroys families, ack.....it boggles my mind. I can never know what it's like to be in the situation, but I can only imagine the frustration of those directly involved, if I, all the way over here in Canada, am beyond frustrated. I truly hope, somehow, they can settle this, and soon.
I guess u know where I stand....this is such a touchy issue, I hate to get into more detail. Maybe we should open up this topic, and discuss this issue in a sensitive, unisulting way?

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jewishpunk
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i totally agree with shimmer. but when i think about all the fighting and things over there, i am mainly scared something will happen to the Western Wall. or that something will happen to the muslim temple dome thing (no sure what to call it). i just thank God that nothing big has happened yet since the war between U.S and Afganistan is already a big issue. i always wish that the Messiah will soon come and let there be peace.
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mazz
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(apologies for the length )

Like Hotbuttered, i was born Jewish. I am a secular Jew, and although i am proud of my religious backgroud, i dont really think of myself as pro-israeli in regards to the violence in the middle east.

I went to a religious orthodox jewish school, and we had many classes that were devoted to discussing the violence between israel and the arab nations. We were taught about the history of the situation and why we were "the innocent party" in the whole situation.

However, i beleive any war is wrong. And i honestly beleive that there can never be, and will never be a "right" side that i am willing to stand up for. Sure, i hope to go to israel one day and maybe discover more of my jewish heritage, but i refuse to beleive that any violence is ok. Even if what i was taught at school is correct and israel is justified, the arab nations also believe they are right. And so in the same way, if israel is allowed to fight for feedom, why cant the arab nations, if they beleive they are right?

I recently came out of classes and my university to find literally hundreds of pro palestinian posters all over the school. There was huge "save palestine" chalk messages all over the walkways too. And ill admit, i was scared for a while. I didnt want people to know i was jewish. My friend is honestly constantly terrifued of being raped by arabs at uni. My friends went around taking down some of the posters, and for a while i did it too. But then i realised, if we put up anti palestinian posters and they tore them down, id be extremely offended. I think the only solution to this is peace, i dont know how, but i know its not about placing blame.


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Confused boy
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Well my personal view is that Isreal cannot claim to be an innocent party being victimised by unfounded political terrorism (though I would not deny the horror of the suicide bombings either). The UN has told Isreal to withdraw from occupied territories and the settlements for years. They have not done so and the Pallestinians feel as a result that they are living in an occupied state. They feel they have no support from the West (the UN hasnt even put trade sanctions on Isreal) so they see terrorism as their only option.

Isreal's behaviour seems to be starting to encourage anti-semitism in Europe now. A London synagogue has been vandalised (the community I belong to has been unharmed so far). And I worry that my being Jewish will automatically associate me with the actions committed by the Isreali army.


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